Should You Work to Improve Your Credit Score?
You may have “improve credit score” as one of the items on your financial to-do list for the year, but that’s not always a goal worth actively pursuing.
For example, if your score is already very high, a few points of improvement won’t provide any benefit to you financially.
Likewise, if you’re about to do something that will cause your score to nosedive (like having your house go into foreclosure), there are probably more important things to focus on financially.
When does it pay to improve your credit score?
Actively working to improve your FICO score is most beneficial if you have either a very bad score or are right on the borderline of having excellent credit.
In both of those cases, bringing up your score will help you to obtain better interest rates if you choose to borrow money. It can also reduce the cost of your insurance if your insurance company uses the score to calculate your rate, which more companies are doing.
If you do decide that improving your score is a goal worth pursuing, be wary of organizations that promise to help “repair” your credit to bring up your score — especially if they promise to remove negative items for a fee. (Legitimate negative items stay on your report until they age off, and you can remove items that are incorrect yourself without paying a fee.)
Instead, focus on doing things like paying your debts on time or early, keeping your oldest credit line open, not having too many lines of credit or too much credit open, not using the vast majority of your available credit, etc.
Generally, the easiest way to improve your score is to be financially responsible. Focus on that, and your credit score will take care of itself.